Digital scans thanks to @sallyvg – translated by Laura, please credit if used.
The eternity, differently.
Robert Pattinson continues his metamorphosis: In ‘High Life’ by Claire Denis, he is an intergalactic convict, and his performance is mad and so intense. In London, a few days ago, he invited us for lunch.
At first, it looks like a scavenger hunt: Robert Pattinson invited us ‘for lunch’ in a very upscale restaurant in London. The booking is under a false name, as it should be. But at the time of the meeting a text tells us the place changed. It will be a hotel bar, quieter. It’s clearly empty, except for a kid with a baseball cap who smokes from an e-cigarette drinking his tea, no way it’s him. We then tell our contact we have arrived, and he tells us to turn around: the kid with the cap wave us to him, laughing. It was him, sitting alone. We kind of expected staff around. To see maybe one to two agents, two bodyguards – why not. Nothing, the man is alone. ‘Oh yes‘ he says, rolling his eyes ‘I cannot stand this circus. I am old enough to dring in a bar right?‘ Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson is 32. He is wearing a backward cap and a gray sweatshirt, like a slacker. He wants to sit at a sunny table and afford the luxury to become a Londoner like the others again. We came there precisely to talk about a convict. Monte. ‘High Life’ hero, the sci-fimovie as splendid as unusual signed by Claire Denis, masterpiece with a strange weightlessness, a very ‘komische musik’ planance, before becoming a bit frightening by its sudden accelerations in violence and sexuality. The actor has the eyes of love for the director ‘I have never seen someone so punk. She ven refuses to be called a woman filmmaker. She just wants to be seen as a filmmaker. I have waited 5 years for this movie to be made and I would have waited more for her. Like for David Cronenberg, she has this capacity of persuading a whole crew to follow her in an incomfortable zone.‘ In ‘High Life’ he is one of the travelers of a space ship composed of convicts, sent to a sure death to explore black holes. The first 30 minutes of the movie are mostly with him being alone, in this space ship, surrounded by dead people, holding a baby in his arms… ‘Legislation made us film with twins, to be able to stick to the shooting schedule. Claire, who has a twin, did not really like the idea of confuse them but we had to. One of the twins was screaming as soon as I would hold her in my arms. We could do nothing about it. At the end of this first desastrous day I gave an alternative: my oldest friend just became a father to a little girl. I held her in my arms a few weeks prior. It’s her in the movie. 15 days into the shooting she was calling me ‘Dada’. My friend was devastated…‘
‘My mission is to make movie judged impossible by the industry‘
He remembers being surprised by the nude aspect of the space ship: ‘Claire wanted it as ‘not spectacular’ as possible. Her theory is that it is in the future, in such a space ship, there would be nothing, because everything miniaturizes. Nomore space ships with too many buttons! They would be cold and clinical. It makes perfect sense.‘ Claire Denis’ style is wide and musical, accordingly going with the melodic moves composed for her by Stuart Staples from Tindersticks. All the act, silent, mute, seems in harmony with it, making us wonder if she films with the music on set: ‘No, but the Safdie brothers, on ‘Good Time’, had playlists for each scene, without counting on the fact they are used to talk during shooting, or even argue with one another: two minutes into it, you don’t understand anymore, it is chaos, your face turns dazed and then they just zoom on you… Ah, ah, bastards, that was exactly what they wanted!‘ Robert Pattinson does look for big successes at the box office. He became the hero of indie movies. Maybe he knows deep inside that even if a movie worked, it would never reach the top of craziness that was ‘Twilight’. It would only be one more success, he does not need it. What he is looking for, little vampire, it’s eternity differently: pieces which would stay. Movies by David Cronenberg, James Gray, Safdie brothers and ‘High Life’ are of this calibre. ‘They call De Niro to make impossible movies, it’s his mission. As for me, my mission is to make movies judged impossible by the industry.‘ And he just laughs loudly. If in the critics’ eyes, Robert Pattinson is making the most beautiful career which there is to be, we guess that in the industry his choices are not everyone’s cup of tea. He, like Kristen Stewart, prefered to blow off celebrity, either because those two are pretentious and think it will last forever or because on the contrary to kill it or even better: to survive it. They spent half of the past ten years not being able to walk around without creating a riot. They have seen their love relationships explode because of it. ‘We cannot know what it is before living it. I don’t even know how I made it without committing suicide. My luck was that I had a group of friends since I was 15. They joined me. At first, we did these empty stuff all celebrities do and then we just started over what we did when we were 16.‘
‘I thought it was easy, that all that was needed was to be a pretty boy‘
We remember reading a story about him, trying to get into the KitKatClub, famous fetish club in Berlin. He is laughing again like a little brat. ‘Well it was yars ago… I was with my dad and friends at a Berlin after party. Someone threw the idea to get there: ‘let’s go to the orgy club!’ The doorsman told me ‘You want to go to a club in the dark where everyone is masked? You are really sure you want to go in there where you’ll be naked WITH YOUR DAD?’ ha, ha, ha!‘ He plays the dilettante badly. We know that under that mask, he is a hard working animal. ‘I was not like that before. I thought is was easy, that all that was needed was to be a pretty boy. Then I saw Kristen on set. And I understood I had to adjust, to fit so I would not be crushed…‘ His life, when he is not on set, what does it look like? ‘Like any other people’s my generation: I surf on Instagram, I watch animals’ videos, gangsta’s stuff, girls making themselves look better, I am hypnotyzed, addicted. I would devour movies at home two years ago and now I am on my phone. I read so little right now, that sometimes I just drive around in LA listening to audio books. It affected my concentration. Learning lines is getting harder. I need to detow from that thing soon…‘ His generation suffers from the same troubles, from the same emptyness, it is logical and normal. He did not find the means to kill this youth of which he is the victim and the executioner. ‘A few weeks ago, I was in Canada with a filmmaker. Her producers were not sure I was the right person of the role. She insisted: ‘Of course he is, look at him! He is not a teen anymore’ It was probably one of the worst moment of my career!‘ Robert Pattinson is 32 and he has the eternity for himself.